Education in New Zealand begins at age five and primary school lasts for eight years – often the last two years are at intermediate school (years 7 and 8). Secondary School starts at year 9 and lasts for five years, continuing until year 13.
The New Zealand school year runs from the beginning of February until mid-December and is divided into four terms.
There is a national compulsory curriculum for years 1-10. However in years 11-13, specialisation is possible as the students approach the end of their school years and are developing clear ideas about their future direction.
The New Zealand curriculum has eight learning areas: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Physical Education and Health, The Arts, Technology and Maori Language.
In years 11-13, students can also elect to take subjects like Hospitality, Technology, Outdoor pursuits, Music, Dance, Performing Arts. The specific subjects depend on the choices that the individual school is able to offer.